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Apollo Tyres Says Chinese Imports Clouding Make In India Drive

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Chennai: Alarmed over growing imports of Chinese tyres in India, a top official of Apollo Tyres on Wednesday said the situation was jeopardising the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ campaign.

“Chinese products were earlier marginally impactive on truck-bus radials. But, last year, Chinese imports grew by 70 per cent and so far, it has grown 40 per cent this year,” Apollo Tyres president-Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa Satish Sharma told reporters here.

Giving out statistics, he said, “The truck-bus radial tyre industry is around four lakh tyres a month. We (Apollo Tyres), sell about one lakh tyres… whereas, it is 1.50 lakh units a month in case of Chinese tyres.”

Mr Sharma, who is also the vice chairman of Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA), representing the tyre industry, said a representation had been made to the government in this regard.

“After two years of following it up with the government, they (government) have accepted the plea for Anti Dumping Duty in May 2016. They have started the process. But it is a long process”, he said.

“Why we should open the market that is predatory to domestic players. Prime Minister’s vision is Make in India. But, I see that vision getting jeopardised. I am ready to compete with local manufacturers (not with Chinese imports)”, he said.

Responding to a query, he said the biggest dilemma facing the industry is Chinese imports and there is nothing that any manufacturer can do about it.

He also said that over the past two years, the Indian tyre prices have come down anywhere between 10 per cent and 15 per cent and is still climbing down. On the other hand, Chinese tyres are still around 30 per cent cheaper.

He said that in the past, competition was limited between three and four tyre manufacturing companies. However, the scene has changed entirely now with the entry of several foreign players like Michelin, Yokohama and Continental Tyres.

Mr Sharma and senior company officials were here for the launch of Apollo EnduRace RD HD, Apollo EnduMile LHD and Apollo EnduComfort CA under the truck-bus radial segment.

PTI

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